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  • richardmitnick 11:26 am on October 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Messier 87,   

    Meet the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT): 

    Event Horizon Telescope Array

    This array brought you the image of the event horizon at Messier 87

    Messier 87*, The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, released on 10 April 2019.

    Arizona Radio Observatory at Kitt Peak, AZ USA, U Arizona Steward Observatory at altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft).


    Arizona Radio Observatory.

    ESO/MPIfR APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).


    ESO APEX.

    Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA), in the Inyo Mountains to the east of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, at a site called Cedar Flat, Altitude 1,222 m (4,009 ft), relocated to Owens Valley Radio Observatory, Altitude 1,222 m (4,009 ft).


    CARMA.

    NAOJ Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE) deployed to its site on Pampa La Bola, near Cerro Chajnantor and the Llano de Chajnantor, Observatory in northern Chile, Altitude 4,800 m (15,700 ft).


    NAOJ Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE).

    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,205 m (13,796 ft).


    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory.

    NSF CfA Greenland telescope.


    Greenland Telescope.

    IRAM 30m Radio telescope, on Pico Veleta in the Spanish Sierra Nevada,, Altitude 2,850 m (9,350 ft).


    Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique (IRAM) 30m.

    IRAM NOEMA in the French Alps on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters, the telescope currently consists of ten antennas, each 15 meters in diameter.interferometer, Located in the French Alpes on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters.


    IRAM NOEMA, France.

    East Asia Observatory James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft).


    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope.

    The University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica
    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano, Mexico, at an altitude of 4850 meters on top of the Sierra Negra.


    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano.

    CfA Submillimeter Array Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,080 m (13,390 ft).


    Submillimeter Array Hawaii SAO.

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.


    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array.

    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL. The SPT collaboration is made up of over a dozen (mostly North American) institutions, including the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, Case Western Reserve University, Harvard/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the University of Colorado Boulder, McGill University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of California, Davis, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. It is funded by the National Science Foundation.


    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL.

    Future Array/Telescopes

    Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory, located near Big Pine, California (US) in Owens Valley, Altitude1,222 m (4,009 ft).


    Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:53 am on October 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Einstein's Description of Gravity Just Got Much Harder to Beat", , , , , , Messier 87,   

    From University of Arizona: “Einstein’s Description of Gravity Just Got Much Harder to Beat” 

    From University of Arizona

    10.1.20

    Dimitrios Psaltis
    Department of Astronomy
    dpsaltis@arizona.edu

    Feryal Özel
    Department of Astronomy
    fozel@arizona.edu

    Pierre Christian
    Department of Astronomy
    pchristian@arizona.edu

    Media contact:
    Mikayla Mace
    University Communications
    520-621-1878
    mikaylamace@arizona.edu

    Daniel Stolte
    University Communications
    520-626-4402
    stolte@email.arizona.edu

    Lee Sandberg
    Institute for Advanced Study
    609-455-4398
    lsandberg@ias.edu

    U Arizona researchers put general relativity to a new test with black hole images.

    1
    Simulation of M87 black hole showing the motion of plasma as it swirls around the black hole. The bright thin ring that can be seen in blue is the edge of what we call the black hole shadow. L. Medeiros; C. Chan; D. Psaltis; F. Özel; University of Arizona; Institute for Advanced Study.

    2
    Visualization of the new gauge developed to test the predictions of modified gravity theories against the measurement of the size of the M87 shadow. Credit: D. Psaltis, UArizona; EHT Collaboration.

    Einstein’s theory of general relativity – the idea that gravity is matter warping spacetime – has withstood over 100 years of scrutiny and testing, including the newest test by University of Arizona astrophysicists from the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration.

    According to their findings, Einstein’s theory just got 500 times harder to beat.

    Despite its successes, Einstein’s robust theory remains mathematically irreconcilable with quantum mechanics, the scientific understanding of the subatomic world. Testing general relativity is important because the ultimate theory of the universe must encompass both gravity and quantum mechanics.

    “We expect a complete theory of gravity to be different from general relativity, but there are many ways one can modify it. We found that whatever the correct theory is, it can’t be significantly different from general relativity when it comes to black holes. We really squeezed down the space of possible modifications,” said UArizona astronomy professor Dimitrios Psaltis, who until recently was the project scientist of the Event Horizon Telescope, or EHT, collaboration.

    Psaltis is lead author of a new paper, published in Physical Review Letters, that details the researchers’ findings.

    “This is a brand new way to test general relativity using supermassive black holes,” said Keiichi Asada, an EHT science council member and an expert on radio observations of black holes for Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

    To perform the test, the team used the first image ever taken of the supermassive black hole at the center of nearby galaxy Messier 87 obtained with the EHT last year.

    Messier 87*, The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    EHT map.

    The first results had shown that the size of the black-hole shadow was consistent with the size predicted by general relativity.

    “At that time, we were not able to ask the opposite question: How different can a gravity theory be from general relativity and still be consistent with the shadow size?” said UArizona Steward Theory Fellow Pierre Christian. “We wondered if there was anything we could do with these observations in order to cull some of the alternatives.”

    The team did a very broad analysis of many modifications to the theory of general relativity to identify the unique characteristic of a theory of gravity that determines the size of a black hole shadow.

    “In this way, we can now pinpoint whether any alternative to general relativity is in agreement with the Event Horizon Telescope observations, without worrying about any other details,” said Lia Medeiros, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study who has been part of the EHT collaboration since her time as a UArizona graduate student.

    The team focused on the range of alternatives that had passed all the previous tests in the solar system.

    “Using the gauge we developed, we showed that the measured size of the black hole shadow in M87 tightens the wiggle room for modifications to Einstein’s theory of general relativity by almost a factor of 500, compared to previous tests in the solar system,” said UArizona astronomy professor Feryal Özel, a senior member of the EHT collaboration. “Many ways to modify general relativity fail at this new and tighter black hole shadow test.”

    “Black hole images provide a completely new angle for testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity,” said Michael Kramer, director of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and EHT collaboration member.

    “Together with gravitational wave observations, this marks the beginning of a new era in black hole astrophysics,” Psaltis said.

    Testing the theory of gravity is an ongoing quest: Are the general relativity predictions for various astrophysical objects good enough for astrophysicists to not worry about any potential differences or modifications to general relativity?

    “We always say general relativity passed all tests with flying colors – if I had a dime for every time I heard that,” Özel said. “But it is true, when you do certain tests, you don’t see that the results deviate from what general relativity predicts. What we’re saying is that while all of that is correct, for the first time we have a different gauge by which we can do a test that’s 500 times better, and that gauge is the shadow size of a black hole.”

    Next, the EHT team expects higher fidelity images that will be captured by the expanded array of telescopes, which includes the Greenland Telescope and the 12-meter Telescope on Kitt Peak near Tucson and the Northern Extended Millimeter Array Observatory in France.

    NSF CfA Greenland telescope, at the Summit Station research camp, located at the highest point of the Greenland ice sheet at an altitude of 3,210 meters (10,530 feet).

    NRAO 12m Radio Telescope, Kitt Peak National Observatory, In the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation Arizona USA,Altitude 1,914 m (6,280 ft).

    “When we obtain an image of the black hole at the center of our own galaxy, then we can constrain deviations from general relativity even further,” Özel said.

    Will Einstein still be right, then?

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Arizona (UA) is a place without limits-where teaching, research, service and innovation merge to improve lives in Arizona and beyond. We aren’t afraid to ask big questions, and find even better answers.

    In 1885, establishing Arizona’s first university in the middle of the Sonoran Desert was a bold move. But our founders were fearless, and we have never lost that spirit. To this day, we’re revolutionizing the fields of space sciences, optics, biosciences, medicine, arts and humanities, business, technology transfer and many others. Since it was founded, the UA has grown to cover more than 380 acres in central Tucson, a rich breeding ground for discovery.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:29 am on September 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Space Could Be Littered With Eerie Transparent Stars Made Entirely of Bosons", , , , , , Messier 87, ,   

    From Science Alert: “Space Could Be Littered With Eerie Transparent Stars Made Entirely of Bosons” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert

    9 SEPTEMBER 2020
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    L-R: A non-rotating black hole; a rotating black hole; a boson star as they’d appear to the EHT. (Olivares et al., MNRAS, 2020)

    Last year, the astronomical community achieved an absolute wonder. For the very first time, the world collectively laid eyes on an actual image of the shadow of a black hole.

    Messier 87*, The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    It was the culmination of years of work, a magnificent achievement in both human collaboration and technical ingenuity.

    Event Horizon Telescope Array

    Arizona Radio Observatory at Kitt Peak, AZ USA, U Arizona Steward Observatory at altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft).


    Arizona Radio Observatory.

    ESO/MPIfR APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).


    ESO APEX.

    Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA), in the Inyo Mountains to the east of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, at a site called Cedar Flat, Altitude 1,222 m (4,009 ft), relocated to Owens Valley Radio Observatory, Altitude 1,222 m (4,009 ft).


    CARMA.

    NAOJ Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE) deployed to its site on Pampa La Bola, near Cerro Chajnantor and the Llano de Chajnantor, Observatory in northern Chile, Altitude 4,800 m (15,700 ft).


    NAOJ Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE).

    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,205 m (13,796 ft).


    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory.

    NSF CfA Greenland telescope.


    Greenland Telescope.

    IRAM 30m Radio telescope, on Pico Veleta in the Spanish Sierra Nevada,, Altitude 2,850 m (9,350 ft).


    Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique (IRAM) 30m.

    IRAM NOEMA in the French Alps on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters, the telescope currently consists of ten antennas, each 15 meters in diameter.interferometer, Located in the French Alpes on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters.


    IRAM NOEMA, France.

    East Asia Observatory James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft).


    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope.

    The University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica
    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano, Mexico, at an altitude of 4850 meters on top of the Sierra Negra.


    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano.

    CfA Submillimeter Array Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,080 m (13,390 ft).


    Submillimeter Array Hawaii SAO.

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.


    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array.

    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL. The SPT collaboration is made up of over a dozen (mostly North American) institutions, including the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, Case Western Reserve University, Harvard/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the University of Colorado Boulder, McGill University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of California, Davis, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. It is funded by the National Science Foundation.


    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL.

    Future Array/Telescopes

    Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory, located near Big Pine, California (US) in Owens Valley, Altitude1,222 m (4,009 ft).


    Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory.

    And, like the best scientific breakthroughs, it opened a whole new world of enquiry. For a team led by astrophysicist Hector Olivares from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Goethe University in Germany, that enquiry was: how do we know M87* is a black hole?

    “While the image is consistent with our expectations on what a black hole would look like, it is important to be sure that what we are seeing is really what we think,” Olivares told ScienceAlert.

    “Similarly to black holes, boson stars are predicted by general relativity and are able to grow to millions of solar masses and reach a very high compactness. The fact that they share these features with supermassive black holes led some authors to propose that some of the supermassive compact objects located at the center of galaxies could actually be boson stars.”

    So, in a new paper, Olivares and his team have calculated what a boson star might look like to one of our telescopes, and how that would differ from a direct image of an accreting black hole.

    Boson stars are among the strangest theoretical objects out there. They’re not much like conventional stars, except that they’re a glob of matter. But where stars are primarily made up of particles called fermions – protons, neutrons, electrons, the stuff that forms more substantial parts of our Universe – boson stars would be made up entirely of… bosons.

    These particles – including photons, gluons and the famous Higgs boson – don’t follow the same physical rules as fermions.

    2

    Fermions are subject to the Pauli exclusion principle, which means you can’t have two identical particles occupying the same space. Bosons, however, can be superimposed; when they come together, they act like one big particle or matter wave. We know this, because it’s been done in a lab, producing what we call a Bose-Einstein condensate.

    In the case of boson stars, the particles can be squeezed into a space which can be described with distinct values, or points on a scale. Given the right kind of bosons in the right arrangements, this ‘scalar field’ could fall into a relatively stable arrangement.

    That’s the theory, at least. Not that anybody has seen one in action. Bosons with the mass required to form such a structure, let alone one with the mass of a supermassive black hole, are yet to be spotted.

    If we could identify a boson star, we would have effectively located this elusive particle.

    “In order to form a structure as large as the SMBH candidates, the mass of the boson needs to be extremely small (less than 10-17 electronvolts),” Olivares said.

    “Spin-0 bosons with similar or smaller masses appear in several cosmological models and string theories, and have been proposed as dark matter candidates under different names (scalar field dark matter, ultra-light axions, fuzzy dark matter, quantum wave dark matter). Such hypothetical particles would be extremely difficult to detect, but the observation of an object looking like a boson star would point to their existence.”

    Boson stars do not fuse nuclei, and they would not emit any radiation. They’d just sit there in space, being invisible. Much like black holes.

    Unlike black holes, however, boson stars would be transparent – they lack an absorbing surface that would stop photons, nor do they have an event horizon. Photons can escape boson stars, although their path may be bent a little by the gravity.

    But some boson stars may be surrounded by a rotating ring of plasma – a lot like the accretion disc that surrounds a black hole. And it would look fairly similar, like a glowing doughnut with a dark region inside.

    So, Olivares and his team performed simulations of the dynamics of these plasma rings, and compared them to what we might expect to see of a black hole.

    “The plasma configuration that we use is not set up ‘by hand’ (under reasonable assumptions), but results from a simulation of plasma dynamics. This allows the plasma to evolve in time and to form structures as it would in nature,” Olivares explained.

    “In this way we could relate the size of the dark region in the boson star images (which mimics a black hole shadow) to the radius where a plasma instability stops operating. In turn, this means that the size of the dark region is not arbitrary – it will depend on the properties of the boson star space-time – and also allows us to predict its size for other boson stars that we have not simulated.”

    They found that the boson star’s shadow would be significantly smaller than the shadow of a black hole of similar mass. Thus, the team ruled out M87* as a boson star – the object’s mass has been inferred from the rotation velocity of the gas around it, and the shadow is too big to be produced by a boson star of that mass.

    But the team also took into account the technical capabilities and limitations of the Event Horizon Telescope which delivered that first black hole image; they deliberately set about visualising their results as they thought boson stars might look as imaged by the EHT.

    This means their results can be compared to future EHT observations, to determine if what we’re looking at is indeed a supermassive black hole.

    If it were not, that would be a very big deal. It wouldn’t mean that supermassive black holes don’t exist – the range of masses for black holes is way too broad for boson stars. But it would hint that boson stars are real, and in turn that would have huge implications, for everything from the inflation of the early Universe to the search for dark matter.

    “It would mean that cosmological scalar fields exist and play an important role in the formation of structures in the Universe,” Olivares told ScienceAlert.

    “The growth of supermassive black holes is still not understood very well, and if it turns out that at least some of the candidates are actually boson stars, we would need to think of different formation mechanisms involving scalar fields.”

    The research was published in July in the MNRAS.

    See the full article here.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 9:01 am on April 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Messier 87, , Quasar 3C 279, , Telescopes contributing also are the Submillimeter Telescope; and the South Pole Telescope., Telescopes contributing to this result were ALMA; APEX; the IRAM 30-meter telescope; the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope; the Large Millimeter Telescope; the Submillimeter Array., The data analysis to transform raw data to an image required specific computers (or correlators) hosted by the MPIfR in Bonn and the MIT Haystack Observatory.,   

    From ALMA: “Event Horizon Telescope Images of a Black-Hole Powered Jet” 

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    From ALMA

    Nicolás Lira
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6519
    Cell phone: +56 9 9445 7726
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory
, Tokyo – Japan
    Phone: +81 422 34 3630
    Email: hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Iris Nijman
    Public Information Officer
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Charlottesville, Virginia – USA
    Cell phone: +1 (434) 249 3423
    Email: alma-pr@nrao.edu

    1
    2
    Illustration of multiwavelength 3C 279 jet structure in April 2017. The observing epochs, arrays, and wavelengths are noted at each panel. Credit: J.Y. Kim (MPIfR), Boston University Blazar Program (VLBA and GMVA), and Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279. One year ago, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration published the first image of a black hole in the nearby radio galaxy Messier 87.

    Mesier 87*, The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    Now the collaboration has extracted new information from the EHT data of the far quasar 3C 279: they observed in the finest detail ever a relativistic jet that is believed to originate from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole. In their analysis, which was led by astronomer Jae-Young Kim from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, they studied the jet’s fine-scale morphology close to the jet base where highly variable gamma-ray emission is thought to originate. The technique used for observing the jet is called very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). The results are published in the coming issue of “Astronomy & Astrophysics, April 2020.

    The EHT collaboration continues extracting information from the groundbreaking data collected in its global campaign in April 2017. One target of the observations was the quasar 3C 279, a galaxy 5 billion light-years away, in the constellation Virgo that scientists classify as a quasar because a point of light at its center shines ultra-bright and flickers as massive amounts of gases and stars fall into the giant black hole there. The black hole is about one billion times the mass of the Sun, that is, 200 more massive than our Galactic Centre black hole. It is shredding the gas and stars that come near into an inferred accretion disk and we see it is squirting some of the gas back out in two fine fire-hose-like jets of plasma at velocities approaching the speed of light. This tells of enormous forces at play in the center.

    The EHT collaboration continues extracting information from the groundbreaking data collected in its global campaign in April 2017. One target of the observations was the quasar 3C 279, a galaxy 5 billion light-years away, in the constellation Virgo that scientists classify as a quasar because a point of light at its center shines ultra-bright and flickers as massive amounts of gases and stars fall into the giant black hole there. The black hole is about one billion times the mass of the Sun, that is, 200 more massive than our Galactic Centre black hole. It is shredding the gas and stars that come near into an inferred accretion disk and we see it is squirting some of the gas back out in two fine fire-hose-like jets of plasma at velocities approaching the speed of light. This tells of enormous forces at play in the center.

    The interpretation of the observations is challenging. Motions different than the jet direction, and apparently as fast as about 20 times the speed of light are difficult to reconcile with the early understanding of the source, this suggests traveling shocks or instabilities in a bent, possibly rotating jet, which also emits at high energies, such gamma-rays.

    The telescopes contributing to this result were ALMA, APEX, the IRAM 30-meter telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, the Large Millimeter Telescope, the Submillimeter Array, the Submillimeter Telescope, and the South Pole Telescope.

    The telescopes work together using a technique called very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). This synchronizes facilities around the world and exploits the rotation of our planet to form one huge, Earth-size telescope. VLBI allows the EHT to achieve a resolution of 20 micro-arcseconds — equivalent to identifying an orange on Earth as seen by an astronaut from the Moon. The data analysis to transform raw data to an image required specific computers (or correlators), hosted by the MPIfR in Bonn and the MIT Haystack Observatory.

    Anton Zensus, Director at the MPIfR and Chair of the EHT Collaboration Board, stresses the achievement as a global effort: “Last year we could present the first image of the shadow of a black hole. Now we see unexpected changes in the shape of the jet in 3C 279, and we are not done yet. We are working on the analysis of data from the centre of our Galaxy in Sgr A*, and on other active galaxies such as Centaurus A, OJ 287, and NGC 1052. As we told last year: this is just the beginning.”

    Opportunities to conduct EHT observing campaigns occur once a year in early Northern springtime, but the March/April 2020 campaign had to be cancelled in response to the CoViD-19 global outbreak. In announcing the cancellation Michael Hecht, astronomer from the MIT/Haystack Observatory and EHT Deputy Project Director, concluded that: “We will now devote our full concentration to completion of scientific publications from the 2017 data and dive into the analysis of data obtained with the enhanced EHT array in 2018. We are looking forward to observations with the EHT array expanded to eleven observatories in the spring of 2021”.

    Additional Information

    The Event Horizon Telescope international collaboration announced the first-ever image of a black hole at the heart of the radio galaxy Messier 87 on April 10, 2019 by creating a virtual Earth-sized telescope. Supported by considerable international investment, the EHT links existing telescopes using novel systems — creating a new instrument with the highest angular resolving power that has yet been achieved.

    The individual telescopes involved in the EHT collaboration are: the Atacama Large Millimetre Telescope (ALMA), the Atacama Pathfinder EXplorer (APEX), the Greenland Telescope (since 2018), the IRAM 30-meter Telescope, the IRAM NOEMA Observatory (expected 2021), the Kitt Peak Telescope (expected 2021), the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), the Submillimeter Array (SMA), the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT), and the South Pole Telescope (SPT).

    The EHT consortium consists of 13 stakeholder institutes; the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the University of Arizona, the University of Chicago, the East Asian Observatory, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique, Large Millimeter Telescope, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, MIT Haystack Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Radboud University and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

    See the full article here .

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    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

    NRAO Small
    ESO 50 Large

     
  • richardmitnick 11:50 am on January 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "This NASA Visualisation of a Black Hole Is So Beautiful We Could Cry", , , , , , Messier 87, ,   

    From NASA via Science Alert: “This NASA Visualisation of a Black Hole Is So Beautiful, We Could Cry” 

    From NASA

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert

    26 JAN 2020
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    NASA Visualization Shows a Black Hole’s Warped World

    The first-ever direct image of a black hole’s event horizon was a truly impressive feat of scientific ingenuity. But it was extremely difficult to achieve, and the resulting image was relatively low-resolution.

    Mesier 87*, The first image of a black hole. First-ever direct image of a black hole, Messier 87*. (EHT Collaboration).This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    EHT map

    Now iconic image of Katie Bouman-Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory after the image of Messier 87 was achieved. Headed from Harvard to Caltech as an Assistant Professor. On the committee for the next iteration of the EHT .

    Techniques and technology will be refined, and it’s expected that future direct images of black holes will improve with time. In September 2019, a NASA visualisation – made for the agency’s Black Hole Week – showed what we might expect to see in high-resolution images of an actively accreting supermassive black hole.

    Supermassive black holes sit at the centres of most large galaxies, and how they got there is a mystery; which came first, the black hole or the galaxy, is one of the big questions in cosmology.

    What we do know is that they are really huge, as in millions or billions of times the mass of the Sun; that they can control star formation; that when they wake up and start feeding, they can become the brightest objects in the Universe. Over the decades, we have also figured out some of their strange dynamics.

    In fact, the very first simulated image of a black hole, calculated using a 1960s punch card IBM 7040 computer and plotted by hand by French astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Luminet in 1978, still looks a lot like NASA’s simulation.

    In both simulations (the one above, and Luminet’s work below), you see a black circle in the centre. That’s the event horizon, the point at which electromagnetic radiation – light, radio waves, X-rays and so forth – are no longer fast enough to achieve escape velocity from the black hole’s gravitational pull.

    4
    (Jean-Pierre Luminet)

    Across the middle of the black hole is the front of the disc of material that is swirling around the black hole, like water into a drain. It generates such intense radiation through friction that we can detect this part with our telescopes – that’s what you are seeing in the picture of Messier 87*.

    You can see the photon ring, a perfect ring of light around the event horizon. And you can see a broad sweep of light around the black hole. That light is actually coming from the part of the accretion disc behind the black hole; but the gravity is so intense, even outside the event horizon, that it warps spacetime and bends the path of light around the black hole.

    You can also see that one side of the accretion disc is brighter than the other. This effect is called relativistic beaming, and it’s caused by the rotation of the disc. The part of the disc that is moving towards us is brighter because it is moving close to light-speed. This motion produces a change in frequency in the wavelength of the light. It’s called the Doppler effect.

    The side that’s moving away from us, therefore, is dimmer, because that motion has the opposite effect.

    “It is precisely this strong asymmetry of apparent luminosity,” Luminet wrote in a paper last year, “that is the main signature of a black hole, the only celestial object able to give the internal regions of an accretion disk a speed of rotation close to the speed of light and to induce a very strong Doppler effect.”

    Simulations such as these can help us understand the extreme physics around supermassive black holes – and that helps us understand what we are seeing when we look at the picture of Messier 87*.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:50 am on January 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The dynamic behaviour of a black hole corona", "XMM-Newton maps black hole surroundings", , , , Black hole IRAS 13224–3809, , , , Messier 87   

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe (2): “The dynamic behaviour of a black hole corona” and “XMM-Newton maps black hole surroundings” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe

    1. The dynamic behaviour of a black hole corona

    20/01/2020

    United space in Europe

    1
    XMM-Newton maps black hole surroundings. ESA

    The dynamic behaviour of a black hole corona

    These illustrations show the surroundings of a black hole feeding on ambient gas as mapped using ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory.

    ESA/XMM Newton

    As the material falls into the black hole, it spirals around to form a flattened disc, as shown here, heating up as it does so. At the very centre of the disc, close to the black hole, a region of very hot electrons – with temperatures of around a billion degrees – known as the corona produced high-energy X-rays that stream out into space.

    A new study has used the reverberating echoes of this radiation, as observed by XMM-Newton, to map the surroundings of a black hole. The study focussed on the black hole at the core of an active galaxy named IRAS 13224–3809, which is one of the most variable X-ray sources in the sky, undergoing very large and rapid fluctuations in brightness of a factor of 50 in mere hours.

    By tracking the X-ray echoes, it was possible to track the dynamic behaviour of the corona itself, where the intense X-ray emission originates from. The corona is shown here as the bright region hovering over the black hole, changing in size and brightness. The study found that the corona of the black hole within IRAS 13224–3809 changed in size incredibly quickly, over a matter of days.

    The Full Story

    2. XMM-Newton maps black hole surroundings

    20/01/2020

    William Alston
    Institute of Astronomy
    University of Cambridge, UK
    Email: wna@ast.cam.ac.uk

    Michael Parker
    European Space Agency
    European Space Astronomy Centre
    Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
    Email: Michael.Parker@esa.int

    Norbert Schartel
    XMM-Newton project scientist
    European Space Agency
    Email: norbert.schartel@esa.int

    Material falling into a black hole casts X-rays out into space – and now, for the first time, ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory [above] has used the reverberating echoes of this radiation to map the dynamic behaviour and surroundings of a black hole itself.

    Most black holes are too small on the sky for us to resolve their immediate environment, but we can still explore these mysterious objects by watching how matter behaves as it nears, and falls into, them.

    As material spirals towards a black hole, it is heated up and emits X-rays that, in turn, echo and reverberate as they interact with nearby gas. These regions of space are highly distorted and warped due to the extreme nature and crushingly strong gravity of the black hole.

    For the first time, researchers have used XMM-Newton to track these light echoes and map the surroundings of the black hole at the core of an active galaxy. Named IRAS 13224–3809, the black hole’s host galaxy is one of the most variable X-ray sources in the sky, undergoing very large and rapid fluctuations in brightness of a factor of 50 in mere hours.

    “Everyone is familiar with how the echo of their voice sounds different when speaking in a classroom compared to a cathedral – this is simply due to the geometry and materials of the rooms, which causes sound to behave and bounce around differently,” explains William Alston of the University of Cambridge, UK, lead author of the new study.

    “In a similar manner, we can watch how echoes of X-ray radiation propagate in the vicinity of a black hole in order to map out the geometry of a region and the state of a clump of matter before it disappears into the singularity. It’s a bit like cosmic echo-location.”

    As the dynamics of infalling gas are strongly linked to the properties of the consuming black hole, William and colleagues were also able to determine the mass and spin of the galaxy’s central black hole by observing the properties of matter as it spiralled inwards.

    The inspiralling material forms a disc as it falls into the black hole. Above this disc lies a region of very hot electrons – with temperatures of around a billion degrees – called the corona. While the scientists expected to see the reverberation echoes they used to map the region’s geometry, they also spotted something unexpected: the corona itself changed in size incredibly quickly, over a matter of days.

    “As the corona’s size changes, so does the light echo – a bit like if the cathedral ceiling is moving up and down, changing how the echo of your voice sounds,” adds William.

    “By tracking the light echoes, we were able to track this changing corona, and – what’s even more exciting – get much better values for the black hole’s mass and spin than we could have determined if the corona was not changing in size. We know the black hole’s mass cannot be fluctuating, so any changes in the echo must be down to the gaseous environment.”

    The study used the longest observation of an accreting black hole ever taken with XMM-Newton, collected over 16 spacecraft orbits in 2011 and 2016 and totalling 2 million seconds – just over 23 days.

    This, combined with the strong and short-term variability of the black hole itself, allowed William and collaborators to model the echoes comprehensively over day-long timescales.

    The region explored in this study is not accessible to observatories such as the Event Horizon Telescope [EHT], which managed to take the first ever picture of gas in the immediate vicinity of a black hole – the one sitting at the centre of the nearby massive galaxy Messier 87.

    EHT map

    The result, based on observations performed with radio telescopes across the world in 2017 and published last year, immediately became a global sensation.

    M87*, The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    Now iconic image of Katie Bouman-Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory after the image of Messier 87 was achieved. Headed from Harvard to Caltech as an Assistant Professional. On the committee for the next iteration of the EHT .

    “The Event Horizon Telescope image was obtained using a method known as interferometry – a wonderful technique that can only work on the very few nearest supermassive black holes to Earth, such as those in Messier 87 and in our home galaxy, the Milky Way, because their apparent size on the sky is large enough for this method to work,” says co-author Michael Parker, who is an ESA research fellow at the European Space Astronomy Centre near Madrid, Spain.

    “By contrast, our approach is able to probe the nearest few hundred supermassive black holes that are actively consuming matter – and this number will increase significantly with the launch of ESA’s Athena satellite.”

    ESA/Athena spacecraft depiction

    Characterising the environments closely surrounding black holes is a core science goal for ESA’s Athena mission, which is scheduled for launch in the early 2030s and will unveil the secrets of the hot and energetic Universe.

    Measuring the mass, spin and accretion rates of a large sample of black holes is key to understanding gravity throughout the cosmos.

    Additionally, since supermassive black holes are strongly linked to their host galaxy’s properties, these studies are also key to furthering our knowledge of how galaxies form and evolve over time.

    “The large dataset provided by XMM-Newton was essential for this result,” says Norbert Schartel, ESA XMM-Newton Project Scientist.

    “Reverberation mapping is an exciting technique that promises to reveal much about both black holes and the wider Universe in coming years. I hope that XMM-Newton will perform similar observing campaigns for several more active galaxies in coming years, so that the method is fully established when Athena launches.”

    Science paper:
    A dynamic black hole corona in an active galaxy through X-ray reverberation mapping by W. N. Alston et al.
    Nature Astronomy.

    The study uses data gathered by XMM-Newton’s European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC).

    See the “dynamic behaviour”full article here .

    See the “Full Story” article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:16 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Famous Black Hole Has Jet Pushing Cosmic Speed Limit", , , , , , Messier 87,   

    From NASA Chandra: “Famous Black Hole Has Jet Pushing Cosmic Speed Limit” 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA/Chandra Telescope


    From NASA Chandra

    1
    Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/B.Snios et al.

    1.6.20

    The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration released the first image of a black hole with observations of the massive, dark object at the center of Messier 87 last April.

    The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    Now iconic image of Katie Bouman-Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory after the image of Messier 87 was achieved. Headed from Harvard to Caltech as an Assistant Professional. On the committee for the next iteration of the EHT .

    EHT map

    This black hole has a mass of about 6.5 billion times that of the sun and is located about 55 million light years from Earth. The black hole has been called M87* by astronomers and has recently been given the Hawaiian name of “Powehi.”

    For years, astronomers have observed radiation from a jet of high energy particles — powered by the black hole — blasting out of the center of Messier 87. They have studied the jet in radio, optical, and X-ray light, including with Chandra. And now by using Chandra observations, researchers have seen that sections of the jet are moving at nearly the speed of light.

    “This is the first time such extreme speeds by a black hole’s jet have been recorded using X-ray data,” said Ralph Kraft of the Center of Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., who presented the study at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. “We needed the sharp X-ray vision of Chandra to make these measurements.”

    When matter gets close enough to a black hole, it enters into a swirling pattern called an accretion disk. Some material from the inner part of the accretion disk falls onto the black hole and some of it is redirected away from the black hole in the form of narrow beams, or jets, of material along magnetic field lines. Because this infall process is irregular, the jets are made of clumps or knots that can sometimes be identified with Chandra and other telescopes.

    The researchers used Chandra observations from 2012 and 2017 to track the motion of two X-ray knots located within the jet about 900 and 2,500 light years away from the black hole. The X-ray data show motion with apparent speeds of 6.3 times the speed of light for the X-ray knot closer to the black hole and 2.4 times the speed of light for the other.

    “One of the unbreakable laws of physics is that nothing can move faster than the speed of light,” said co-author Brad Snios, also of the CfA. “We haven’t broken physics, but we have found an example of an amazing phenomenon called superluminal motion.”

    Superluminal motion occurs when objects are traveling close to the speed of light along a direction that is close to our line of sight. The jet travels almost as quickly towards us as the light it generates, giving the illusion that the jet’s motion is much more rapid than the speed of light. In the case of M87*, the jet is pointing close to our direction, resulting in these exotic apparent speeds.

    Astronomers have previously seen such motion in Messier 87*’s jet at radio and optical wavelengths, but they have not been able to definitively show that matter in the jet is moving at very close to the speed of light. For example, the moving features could be a wave or a shock, similar to a sonic boom from a supersonic plane, rather than tracing the motions of matter.

    This latest result shows the ability of X-rays to act as an accurate cosmic speed gun. The team observed that the feature moving with an apparent speed of 6.3 times the speed of light also faded by over 70% between 2012 and 2017. This fading was likely caused by particles’ loss of energy due to the radiation produced as they spiral around a magnetic field. For this to occur the team must be seeing X-rays from the same particles at both times, and not a moving wave.

    3
    Illustration of the Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of Messier 87 (Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

    4
    Chandra Wide-field View of Messier 87; box shows the approximate location of the wide-field jet image above (Credit: NASA/CXC)


    A Quick Look at the Black Hole Jet in Messier 87

    “Our work gives the strongest evidence yet that particles in Messier 87*’s jet are actually traveling at close to the cosmic speed limit”, said Snios.

    The Chandra data are an excellent complement to the EHT data. The size of the ring around the black hole seen with the Event Horizon Telescope is about a hundred million times smaller than the size of the jet seen with Chandra.

    Another difference is that the EHT observed Messier 87 over six days in April 2017, giving a recent snapshot of the black hole. The Chandra observations investigate ejected material within the jet that was launched from the black hole hundreds and thousands of years earlier.

    “It’s like the Event Horizon Telescope is giving a close-up view of a rocket launcher,” said the CfA’s Paul Nulsen, another co-author of the study, “and Chandra is showing us the rockets in flight.”

    In addition to being presented at the AAS meeting, these results are also described in a paper in The Astrophysical Journal led by Brad Snios.
    Other materials about the findings are available at:
    http://chandra.si.edu

    For more Chandra images, multimedia and related materials, visit:
    http://www.nasa.gov/chandra

    Media contacts:
    Megan Watzke
    Chandra X-ray Center, Cambridge, Mass.
    617-496-7998
    mwatzke@cfa.harvard.edu

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:21 pm on December 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Event Horizon, Messier 87,   

    From Ethan Siegel: “Ask Ethan: Can Black Holes Ever Spit Anything Back Out?” 

    From Ethan Siegel
    Dec 28, 2019

    A black hole’s event horizon is thought of as the point of no return. But perhaps there are ways back out, after all.

    Black holes just might be the most extreme objects that exist in the entire Universe. While every quantum of matter or energy is affected by the gravitational force, there are other forces capable of overcoming gravity everywhere you go, except inside a black hole. The most important feature of a black hole is the existence of an event horizon; no other class of object has them. Although black holes have this region where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape, not even if they move at the speed of light, perhaps there are loopholes to the inescapability of a black hole’s gravity, after all. That’s the subject of this week’s question, which comes from Noah, who asks,

    Do black holes ever spit things out at any time?

    And if they do, do they ever spit out light?

    The answer must be yes. After all, the most surprising thing about black holes — both predicted theoretically and observed directly — is that they aren’t black at all.

    1
    The second-largest black hole as seen from Earth, the one at the center of the galaxy Messier 87, is shown in three views here. At the top is optical from Hubble, at the lower-left is radio from NRAO, and at the lower-right is X-ray from Chandra. These differing views have different resolutions dependent on the optical sensitivity, wavelength of light used, and size of the telescope mirrors used to observe them. These are all examples of radiation emitted from the regions around black holes, demonstrating that black holes aren’t so black, after all. (TOP, OPTICAL, HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE / NASA / WIKISKY; LOWER LEFT, RADIO, NRAO / VERY LARGE ARRAY (VLA); LOWER RIGHT, X-RAY, NASA / CHANDRA X-RAY TELESCOPE)

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky Expanded Very Large Array, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m)

    NASA/Chandra X-ray Telescope

    If black holes were entirely dark, there would be no way to detect them at all, save for the gravitational influence that they might have on the other objects around them. If we had a black hole and a star in orbit around one another, we’d be able to infer the existence (and the mass) of the black hole simply by watching how the star appeared to move over time.

    As it wobbled back-and-forth in its orbit, we could determine the parameters of the other object present, including the mass, orbital separation distance, and if our measurements were good enough, even its angle-of-inclination relative to our line of sight. Based on the light that comes from it, we could know whether it was a star, a white dwarf, a neutron star, or — if there were no light at all — even a black hole.

    2
    When a black hole and a companion star orbit one another, the star’s motion will change over time owing to the gravitational influence of the black hole, while matter from the star can accrete onto the black hole, resulting in X-ray and radio emissions. (JINGCHUAN YU/BEIJING PLANETARIUM/2019)

    But in our practical, realistic Universe, the black holes that orbit other stars are actually detectable through radiation.

    “Hang on,” you might object, “if black holes are regions of space from which nothing can escape, not even light, then how are we seeing radiation coming from the black hole itself?”

    That’s a valid point, but what you have to understand is that the space outside of a black hole’s event horizon doesn’t have to be devoid of matter. In fact, if there’s another star nearby, that star can serve as a rich source of matter, capable of being siphoned onto the black hole, particularly if the nearby star is giant and diffuse. This sort of system, in particular, creates what we observe as an X-ray binary, and it’s how the first black hole we ever found was detected.

    3
    Black holes are not isolated objects in space, but exist amidst the matter and energy in the Universe, galaxy, and star systems where they reside. They grow by accreting and devouring matter and energy, and when they actively feed they emit X-rays. Binary black hole systems that emit X-rays are how the majority of our known non-supermassive black holes were discovered. (NASA/ESA HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE COLLABORATION)

    Matter, if you break it down to a subatomic level, is made of charged particles. Put this matter in the vicinity of a black hole, and it will:

    move rapidly,
    collide with other matter particles,
    heat up,
    create electric currents and magnetic fields,
    accelerate,
    and emit radiation.

    Some of the matter will lose momentum and fall into the black hole, passing through the event horizon and adding to the black hole’s mass. However, the majority of the matter won’t fall in at all, but rather will get funneled into an accretion disk (or more generally, an accretion flow) that experiences the electromagnetic forces from all the accelerating matter. As a result, we see two jets that get expelled in opposite directions emanating from black holes.

    4
    While distant host galaxies for quasars and active galactic nuclei can often be imaged in visible/infrared light, the jets themselves and the surrounding emission is best viewed in both the X-ray and the radio, as illustrated here for the galaxy Hercules A. The gaseous outflows are highlighted in the radio, and if X-ray emissions follow the same path into the gas, they can be responsible for creating hot spots owing to the acceleration of electrons. (NASA, ESA, S. BAUM AND C. O’DEA (RIT), R. PERLEY AND W. COTTON (NRAO/AUI/NSF), AND THE HUBBLE HERITAGE TEAM (STSCI/AURA))

    These relativistic jets are made of particles aAn illustration of an active black hole, one that accretes matter and accelerates a portion of it outwards in two perpendicular jets. The normal matter undergoing an acceleration like this describes how quasars work extremely well, while the accretion flows are ultimately responsible for the emitted particles and radiation we observe. (MARK A. GARLICK)nd emit enormous amounts of light from their dynamical interactions with the particles in the interstellar medium. In fact, the same physics is at play in the supermassive black holes found at the centers of galaxies: matter that falls in towards the black hole largely gets ripped apart, funneled into accretion flows, accelerated, and ejected in jet-like structures.

    If you were a real particle outside of the black hole’s event horizon, but were gravitationally bound to the black hole, you’d be compelled to move in an elliptical orbit around it. At your point of closest approach — the periapsis of your orbit — you’ll be moving at your fastest speed, which gives you the greatest likelihood of interacting with other particles. If they’re present, you’ll experience inelastic collisions, friction, electromagnetic forces, etc. In other words, all the forces that cause charged particles to emit radiation.

    5
    An illustration of an active black hole, one that accretes matter and accelerates a portion of it outwards in two perpendicular jets. The normal matter undergoing an acceleration like this describes how quasars work extremely well, while the accretion flows are ultimately responsible for the emitted particles and radiation we observe. (MARK A. GARLICK)

    Radiation, although it covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum from low-energy radio waves all the way up to X-rays and gamma rays, is just the general term for all forms of light. So long as you have particles that exist outside of the black hole’s event horizon, they will create this form of radiation, and in the cases where relatively nearby black holes are feeding at fast enough rates, we’ll actually observe that characteristic X-ray radiation.

    In fact, we can even look at the supermassive black holes from outside our own galaxy, and find those same features, only scaled up in both power and extent. The same physics is at play — charged object in motion create magnetic fields, and those fields accelerate particles along one particular axis — which is what creates the relativistic jets we observe from a distance. Those jets produce showers of both particles and radiation, and we can catch them even from Earth, sometimes even in visible light.

    6
    The galaxy Centaurus A, shown in a composite of visible light, infrared (submillimeter) light and in the X-ray. This is the nearest active galaxy to the Milky Way, and its bipolar jets are thought to arise from the active, feeding black hole inside. (ESO/WFI (OPTICAL); MPIFR/ESO/APEX/A.WEISS ET AL. (SUBMILLIMETRE); NASA/CXC/CFA/R.KRAFT ET AL. (X-RAY))

    Wide Field Imager on the 2.2 meter MPG/ESO telescope at Cerro LaSilla

    ESO/MPIfR APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)

    In some cases, where black holes are active and feeding, we can even observe a spectacular phenomenon known as a photon sphere. Around black holes, the fabric of space is so severely curved that it isn’t just particles that make circular-and-elliptical orbits around that central mass, but even photons: light itself.

    The photon sphere is a little bit larger than the event horizon, and for realistic (rotating) black holes, the physics is more complicated than a simple, non-rotating case. However, the extreme curvature of space means that these photons will create a ring-like structure visible from any faraway perspective. The ring itself is larger than the event horizon, and the curvature of space makes the angular size of the ring appear even larger than that, but this is one of the things we need to calculate in order to understand why our first image of a black hole’s event horizon appears with the famous donut-like shape we observe.

    The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    Event Horizon Telescope Array

    Arizona Radio Observatory
    Arizona Radio Observatory/Submillimeter-wave Astronomy (ARO/SMT)

    ESO/APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment

    CARMA Array no longer in service
    Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA)

    Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE)
    Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE)

    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO)

    IRAM 30m Radio telescope, on Pico Veleta in the Spanish Sierra Nevada,, Altitude 2,850 m (9,350 ft)


    Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique (IRAM) 30m

    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope interior, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA
    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope interior, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano
    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano

    CfA Submillimeter Array Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,080 m (13,390 ft)

    Submillimeter Array Hawaii SAO

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array, Chile

    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL
    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL

    Future Array/Telescopes

    IRAM NOEMA in the French Alps on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters, the telescope currently consists of ten antennas, each 15 meters in diameter.interferometer, Located in the French Alpes on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters

    NSF CfA Greenland telescope


    Greenland Telescope

    ARO 12m Radio Telescope, Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona, USA, Altitude 1,914 m (6,280 ft)


    ARO 12m Radio Telescope

    Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory, located near Big Pine, California (US) in Owens Valley, Altitude1,222 m (4,009 ft)

    All of that, however, as interesting and light-emitting as it may be, only arises from material that hasn’t yet fallen through that critical region of space around the black hole: it’s all for things that remain outside the event horizon. Nothing can be seen arising from any material that actually goes inside the event horizon and winds up physically over that critical boundary.

    However, if you could create a black hole that was completely isolated from everything else in the Universe — isolated from particles, radiation, neutrinos, dark matter, other sources of mass, etc. — all you’d have was the curved space resulting from the black hole’s presence itself. Unlike the static picture of curved space that you typically see, any particle at rest would feel as though the space it occupies is being dragged around and into the black hole; it’s as though the space beneath a particle’s proverbial “feet” is in motion, as though it’s fundamentally on a moving walkway.

    8
    In the vicinity of a black hole, space flows like either a moving walkway or a waterfall, depending on how you want to visualize it. At the event horizon, even if you ran (or swam) at the speed of light, there would be no overcoming the flow of spacetime, which drags you into the singularity at the center. Outside the event horizon, though, other forces (like electromagnetism) can frequently overcome the pull of gravity, causing even infalling matter to escape. (ANDREW HAMILTON / JILA / UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO)

    You’d have that curved space, an event horizon, and the laws of physics. And one of the things that the laws of physics teaches us is that the quantum fields that govern the Universe, even in the absence of any particles, are still present, constantly fluctuating as they inevitably must.

    In flat space, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Energy fluctuations occur in the quantum vacuum, and in flat space, the quantum vacuum has equivalent properties everywhere. But when you have curved space — and in particular, space that’s more severely curved in one direction (towards the black hole) than the other (away from the black hole) — observers at different locations will disagree as to what the correct description of the lowest-energy state of the vacuum is.

    9
    Visualization of a quantum field theory calculation showing virtual particles in the quantum vacuum. (Specifically, for the strong interactions.) Even in empty space, this vacuum energy is non-zero, and what appears to be the ‘ground state’ in one region of curved space will look different from the perspective of an observer where the spatial curvature differs. (DEREK LEINWEBER)

    For someone far away from the event horizon, where space appears flat, they’ll observe some low-energy radiation coming from the more severely curved regions of space, even in the absence of any particles. This radiation carries real energy, and is a consequence of how quantum fields behave in curved space. The greater the curvature of space, the greater the rate that this radiation — known as Hawking radiation — gets emitted.

    The energy for the radiation only has one possible source: it has to be stolen from the mass of the black hole. Fortunately, Einstein’s most famous equation, E = mc², describes this balance exactly. The smaller in mass the black hole is, the smaller the event horizon and the greater the curvature is near it. When you put this together, you wind up with a fascinating discovery: the less massive your black hole is, the more quickly it loses mass, emits Hawking radiation, and decays away.

    Cosmic microwave background radiation. Stephen Hawking Center for Theoretical Cosmology U Cambridge

    9
    The event horizon of a black hole is a spherical or spheroidal region from which nothing, not even light, can escape. But outside the event horizon, the black hole is predicted to emit radiation. Hawking’s 1974 work was the first to demonstrate this, and it was arguably his greatest scientific achievement. (NASA; DANA BERRY, SKYWORKS DIGITAL, INC.)

    The rate at which an isolated black hole radiates its mass away, through Hawking radiation, is incredibly slow for any realistic black hole in our Universe. A black hole of our Sun’s mass would take 10⁶⁷ years to evaporate, while the one at the Milky Way’s center needs 10⁸⁷ years and the most massive ones known take up to 10¹⁰⁰ years!

    Still, this is the only case where we can say that some form of energy from inside the black hole’s event horizon affects what we observe outside of it. The things that fall in through a black hole’s event horizon don’t come out again, not under any circumstances. The only things that a black hole can spit out come from outside the event horizon, from particles to conventional photons to even the Hawking radiation that get their energy from the black hole’s mass itself. There may be plenty of light that arises from black holes, but none of it can ever come from inside the event horizon.

    SGR A* , the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    SgrA* NASA/Chandra supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, X-ray image of the center of our galaxy, where the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* resides. Image via X-ray: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., IR: NASA/STScI.

    Star S0-2 Andrea Ghez Keck/UCLA Galactic Center Group at SGR A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the milky way

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    “Starts With A Bang! is a blog/video blog about cosmology, physics, astronomy, and anything else I find interesting enough to write about. I am a firm believer that the highest good in life is learning, and the greatest evil is willful ignorance. The goal of everything on this site is to help inform you about our world, how we came to be here, and to understand how it all works. As I write these pages for you, I hope to not only explain to you what we know, think, and believe, but how we know it, and why we draw the conclusions we do. It is my hope that you find this interesting, informative, and accessible,” says Ethan

     
  • richardmitnick 9:58 am on December 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Messier 87, ,   

    From ALMA: “In the Shadow of a Black Hole” 

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    From ALMA

    10 April, 2019

    Nicolás Lira
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6519
    Cell phone: +56 9 9445 7726
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory
, Tokyo – Japan
    Phone: +81 422 34 3630
    Email: hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Iris Nijman
    Public Information Officer
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Charlottesville, Virginia – USA
    Cell phone: +1 (434) 249 3423
    Email: alma-pr@nrao.edu

    The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. In coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers revealed that they succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.
    This 17-minute film explores the efforts that led to this historic image, from the science of Einstein and Schwarzschild to the struggles and successes of the EHT collaboration. Credit:ESO

    Event Horizon Telescope Array

    Arizona Radio Observatory
    Arizona Radio Observatory/Submillimeter-wave Astronomy (ARO/SMT)

    ESO/APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment

    CARMA Array no longer in service
    Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA)

    Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE)
    Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE)

    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
    Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO)

    IRAM 30m Radio telescope, on Pico Veleta in the Spanish Sierra Nevada,, Altitude 2,850 m (9,350 ft)


    Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique (IRAM) 30m

    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope interior, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA
    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope interior, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano
    Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano

    CfA Submillimeter Array Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,080 m (13,390 ft)

    Submillimeter Array Hawaii SAO

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array, Chile

    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL
    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL

    Future Array/Telescopes

    IRAM NOEMA in the French Alps on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters, the telescope currently consists of ten antennas, each 15 meters in diameter.interferometer, Located in the French Alpes on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters

    NSF CfA Greenland telescope


    Greenland Telescope

    ARO 12m Radio Telescope, Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona, USA, Altitude 1,914 m (6,280 ft)


    ARO 12m Radio Telescope

    Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory, located near Big Pine, California (US) in Owens Valley, Altitude1,222 m (4,009 ft)

    The first image of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

    Katie Bouman-Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Headed to Caltech.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

    NRAO Small
    ESO 50 Large

     
  • richardmitnick 3:57 pm on December 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Messier 87, ,   

    From Sky&Telescope: “The Appearance of a Black Hole’s Shadow” 

    SKY&Telescope bloc

    From Sky & Telescope

    In April of this year, the Event Horizon Telescope captured the first detailed images of the shadow of a black hole. In a new study, a team of scientists has now explored what determines the size and shape of black hole shadows like this one.

    2
    Simulation of accreting gas swirling around a supermassive black hole. How do the details of this gas affect the observed appearance of the black hole’s shadow?
    Jordy Davelaar et al. / Radboud University / BlackHoleCam

    Messier 87 supermassive black hole from the EHT

    The stunning new radio images of the supermassive black hole in nearby galaxy Messier 87, released this spring by the Event Horizon Telescope team, revealed a bright ring of emission surrounding a dark, circular region.

    This distinct structure is a result of the warped spacetime around massive objects like black holes. The ring of light is comprised of photons from the hot, radiating gas that surrounds the black hole, whose paths have been bent around the black hole before arriving at our telescopes. The dark region in the center is termed the black hole’s “shadow”; this is the collection of paths of photons that did not escape, but were instead captured by the black hole.

    3
    Comparison of conceptions of a black hole surrounded by a thin accretion disk vs. a thick accretion disk.
    Top: NASA ; bottom: Nicolle R. Fuller / NSF

    The Shape of Accretion

    While some previous studies have explored what a black hole shadow looks like when the black hole is surrounded by a very thin disk of accreting gas (think the black hole + disk from the movie Interstellar), most supermassive black holes — like Messier 87, or our own supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A* — are more likely to be surrounded by hot, accreting gas that is more broadly distributed, forming a thick or quasi-spherical disk.

    ,SgrA* NASA/Chandra supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, X-ray image of the center of our galaxy, where the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* resides. Image via X-ray: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., IR: NASA/STScI.

    SGR A* , the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    Does the geometry and motion of the accreting gas affect the size and shape of a black hole’s shadow?

    Models of Monsters

    In a new study, three scientists — Ramesh Narayan and Michael Johnson (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and Charles Gammie (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign) — have teamed up to explore how a black hole’s shadow changes based on the behavior of the hot gas around it.

    4
    The image of the black hole shadow for three of the authors’ models: non-relativistic spacetime (top), relativistic spacetime with static surrounding gas (center), and relativistic spacetime with accreting gas flowing radially inwards (bottom).
    Adapted from Narayan et al. 2019

    Narayan, Johnson, and Gammie built analytical models of a black hole surrounded by hot, optically thin gas (which means that the radiation escapes the gas and is observable). They then analyzed how the shadow would appear using different spacetimes, with different gas motions, and with different behaviors of the gas close to the black hole.

    Reducing Complications

    Intriguingly, the authors found that the appearance of the black hole’s shadow doesn’t depend on the details of the gas accretion close to the black hole. The size of the shadow was primarily determined by the spacetime itself (which is impacted by the mass of the black hole). But how the gas is distributed around the black hole, and whether that gas is stationary or accreting, doesn’t hugely affect the appearance of the shadow.

    Real life is a little messier than this simple, spherically symmetric model; black hole spin and the presence of jets or outflows will cause asymmetries in the shadow. But the authors’ results generally tell us that the close-in details of accretion flows aren’t complicating what we’re seeing. And that’s valuable information we can use as we interpret future observations of black hole shadows!

    Science paper
    The Astrophysical Letters
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ab518c

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sky & Telescope magazine, founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer Jr. and Helen Spence Federer, has the largest, most experienced staff of any astronomy magazine in the world. Its editors are virtually all amateur or professional astronomers, and every one has built a telescope, written a book, done original research, developed a new product, or otherwise distinguished him or herself.

    Sky & Telescope magazine, now in its eighth decade, came about because of some happy accidents. Its earliest known ancestor was a four-page bulletin called The Amateur Astronomer, which was begun in 1929 by the Amateur Astronomers Association in New York City. Then, in 1935, the American Museum of Natural History opened its Hayden Planetarium and began to issue a monthly bulletin that became a full-size magazine called The Sky within a year. Under the editorship of Hans Christian Adamson, The Sky featured large illustrations and articles from astronomers all over the globe. It immediately absorbed The Amateur Astronomer.

    Despite initial success, by 1939 the planetarium found itself unable to continue financial support of The Sky. Charles A. Federer, who would become the dominant force behind Sky & Telescope, was then working as a lecturer at the planetarium. He was asked to take over publishing The Sky. Federer agreed and started an independent publishing corporation in New York.

    “Our first issue came out in January 1940,” he noted. “We dropped from 32 to 24 pages, used cheaper quality paper…but editorially we further defined the departments and tried to squeeze as much information as possible between the covers.” Federer was The Sky’s editor, and his wife, Helen, served as managing editor. In that January 1940 issue, they stated their goal: “We shall try to make the magazine meet the needs of amateur astronomy, so that amateur astronomers will come to regard it as essential to their pursuit, and professionals to consider it a worthwhile medium in which to bring their work before the public.”

     
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